This is our third failed adoption just this year. You'd think by now we would be used to it, or just assume early on that this would be our ending. But we're not, and we don't.
Each situation is so different, and each bring with it reasons to hope. When we were matched with our son Miles we didn't put our whole heart into his birth mother because we feared rejection. We feared hurt. We feared loss. So when she placed him in our family for forever, we regretted so many choices we had made about keeping our distance to someone so special to our family.
I vowed to treat every situation differently after that. Although there is always fear, we have pushed ourselves to feel hope and love because there is nothing to regret if you move forward with a positive attitude.
Failed adoption is HARD. There are so many emotions that go along with loss, and each is valid, although some are unexpected. This most recent loss brought along a lot of feelings of betrayal and anger because we had become so close and so trusting of the couple who we believed would be giving us a precious daughter.
But I realized something last night.
I was holding Miles as he slept in my arms. I looked down at him and immediately started to tear up at the thought of the baby girl I had met and how I was never going to get to hold her like this. Anger started to creep in and I said to myself, "How dare they take this from me!"
You guys, it's hard not to feel that way. After all we had been through with them. After they had allowed us so much access into the life of that baby girl. After they had brought in our son's to meet and hold her in the hospital. It's HARD not to be steaming mad. (And trust me, Mama Bear showed her nasty face many times this week! Grrrr.)
Just as I was about to break down and ugly cry in front of a ferry boat full of strangers, with a giant sleeping toddler in my arms, it hit me: This couple owed me NOTHING. I was not ever entitled to this baby that they not only grew, but loved too. She was always their's. We were asked to provide a stable, loving and opportunity-full home for her, should they feel that that was best. And we did. And they came to believe that the best place for her was with them. And you know what? That's great. She's loved and cared for (to the best of my knowledge) and she is where she is meant to be.
Are we hurt? Yes.
Are we sad? Yes.
Are we discouraged? SO MUCH YES.
Are we angry? Yes. No. Kind of.
There is still so much to learn and come to understand about this process. "Mourning" is hard to follow and predict. With so many thoughts and questions still running through our minds, we can only hope to find answers and peace in the end.
But I have stopped feeling animosity. Which is a very dangerous emotion because it does NO GOOD in any situation. I have come to understand that they didn't cause us this pain. Loss did. And loss comes from hope. And hope is good. So, in so many words, this pain is good. Because it means we did exactly what we set out to do. Which was to LOVE BRAVELY.
So do we have regrets? No.
We will try again. We will move forward with hope because there is no other way to grow our family. Matthew and I have promised Sam, who aches for another baby just as we do, that we will do what ever we can to bring home another perfect family member.
Hurt is inevitable in adoption. No matter the outcome. But one thing is for certain.
It is worth it.
Miles continues to remind us of that and this is the fact that we will continue to lean on for the hope that we need to keep on this journey towards the family that we dream of.
It will be worth it.